Madam Katja Lasseur, Deputy Head of Mission Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, says Ghana needs to increase productivity, storage, value addition and competitiveness of the fruit and vegetable sector.
She said the collaboration with the Chamber was also to drive the continuity of this annual programme after the closure of the HortiFresh programme.
She expressed the hope that the continuous engagements and interactions would go a long way to create inclusive and sustainable growth for the sector thereby making it competitive in the world market.
“In addition, to the Fair this year there are three seminars to be held concurrently to discuss salient issues affecting the horticulture sector. This will help develop a conducive business climate for SMEs who are active and adding value to their horticulture businesses,” she added.
Dr Courage Besah-Adanu, Technical Director of the Chamber, said over the years, the horticulture sector was a critical part of the agribusiness industry.
He said horticultural products accounted for about 38 per cent of the non-traditional agricultural export commodities, contributing over US$ 159.8million to the Ghanaian economy.
“Your role is more critical even now as we urgently need fruits and Vegetables to secure a stronger immunity against the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
He said, “Ghana celebrates you for feeding the ever-growing population, contributing to substantial revenue, especially foreign exchange to the national kitty while improving the health of the environment.”
Mr Seth Osei Akoto, Director Crop Services, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, said fruits and vegetables were important components of a healthy diet and their sufficient daily consumption helped prevent major diseases, including cancers.
He said the Ministry was working to further improve the fruits and vegetable sector.
He said it was the goal of the government to support innovations in the industry and to put into place the incentives necessary to stimulate increased uptake of productivity.
It is also to enhance agriculture technologies and to create an equitable market environment that will encourage investment.